Saratoga’s spring wine walk features established wineries, up-and-comers

In Saratoga, warmer weather means the annual Spring Wine Experience is just around the corner.

On Saturday, May 13 in the Saratoga Village, wineries from across the region will set up shop and offer wine tastings. Neighbors can walk in the historic village and try pours from established Santa Clara Valley wineries and some up-and-comers.

Participating wineries include Saratoga-based Roudon Smith Vineyards and Los Gatos-based wineries like Wrights Station Vineyard & Winery and Byington Vineyards & Winery.

The event, hosted by the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, runs 2:30-5:30 p.m. Check-in starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Chamber office, 14460 Big Basin Way. Tickets are $55 at or $65 at the event. and a ticket includes a wine glass, wristband and map to the various tasting locations.

Here’s a look at some of the wineries participating this year.

Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards

Saratoga-based Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards offers chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet franc, syrah and blends grown on its 28 acres.

The first vineyard on the property was planted in 1972 and has grown into a family agricultural operation and horseback riding destination.

House Family Vineyards

Though its tasting room in the Saratoga hills remains closed, House Family Vineyards will offer tastings at the Spring Wine Experience.

Owner David House built several homes on his 37 acres before starting a hobby vineyard that grew to a regional brand. He hired a “dirt doctor” and a viticulturist to figure out the best soil-to-variety combination. They currently offer a pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, among others.

The winery is in the process of applying for the appropriate permits so it can reopen..

Rhys Vineyards

Rhys Vineyards produces pinot noir, chardonnay and Syrah from the mountainside near Los Gatos.

The winery spans beyond Los Gatos. For the past 15 years, the winery developed seven estate vineyards–six in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one in Anderson Valley, north of San Francisco.

Rhys Vineyards, from harvesting to bottling, uses a gentle gravity system where the wines are never pumped or filtered. The winemaker says the approach is meant to showcase the influence of the unique agriculture of the vineyards.

Thomas Fogarty

A short drive up the peninsula, the Woodside-based Thomas Fogarty Winery is known for its single-vineyard pinot noir, chardonnay, merlot and cabernet since 1981.

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The estate winery has been featured on Saratoga’s wine walks for years. Fogarty prides itself on its farming practices that reflect the respect for the land, and working with the soils’ natural microbiological systems to support healthy and balanced wines.

Founder Thomas Fogarty dedicated approximately 360 acres in the north end of the Santa Cruz Mountains to open space, saving just 30 of those acres for the vineyard.

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